Australian Firearm Categories

While firearms licensing and hunting regulations differ from State to State, the National Firearms agreement set out the different categories of firearms that are legal in Australia.

The different categories of firearms are the same in every State and Territory in Australia.

Category A and B firearms are the most common types of firearms used by sport hunters in Australia.

Category A Firearms include:

    • Air rifles,
    • Rim-fire rifles (other than self-loading rim-fire rifles)
    • Shotguns (other than pump action or self loading shotguns. This includes lever-action shotguns.)
    • Break-action shotgun/rim-fire rifle combination firearms
    • Muzzle loading firearms (other than pistols)
    • Blank-fire firearms at least 75 cm in length
    • Centre fire rifle (other than self-loading 
    • Shotgun/centre fire rifle combination

Category B Firearms include:

    • Muzzle-loading firearms (other than pistols)
    • Single-shot centre-fire rifles, other than self-loading
    • Double barrel centre-fire rifles
    • Repeating centre-fire rifles
    • Break action shotgun/centre-fire rifle combination firearms

Category C Firearms include:

    • Semi-automatic (self loading), rim-fire rifles (with a magazine capacity no greater than 10 rounds).
    • Semi-automatic (self loading), shotguns (with a magazine capacity no greater than 5 rounds)
    • Pump action shotguns (with a magazine capacity no greater than 5 rounds.)

Category D Firearms include:

    • Self loading centre fire rifles
    • Self loading rim fire rifles with a magazine capacity no greater than 10 rounds
    • Self loading shotguns with a magazine capacity no greater than 5 rounds
    • Pump action shotguns with a magazine capacity no greater than 5 rounds
    • Any firearm to which category C licence applies

Category H Firearms include:

    • Hand guns & pistols

Although the firearm categories are the same in every State and Territory in Australia, the firearm storage requirements differ from State to State. While the specifications for firearms storage safes, lockers, or cabinets will vary slightly, it is your responsibility to make sure all firearms are locked away when not in use in a secure gun safe. This also includes ammunition.

For more information on the legal requirements for firearm & weapons storage in your State or Territory:


Transporting Firearms

Each State in Australia also have different requirements for storing firearms in vehicles, more details are specified above per State requirement. As a general rule, firearms are required to be locked in cases or containers while it is transported. Ammunition need to be stored separately. Firearms and ammunition should not be left unattended in unlocked vehicles.

For keen clay target shooters or hunters out there, sometimes you need to travel on domestic air or public transport with your firearms. In this case, you need to contact your transport provider on the requirements for such transportation. For domestic air travels within Australia, your firearms should be unloaded, and rendered temporarily if possible by disassembling or removing the bolt, and then storing it separately from the firearm. The firearm should then be locked up in a lockable case, the individual travelling with the firearms must have keys to the firearm locked case while they are transporting.

Firearms need to be checked and transported with your general luggage, they are not allowed to be carried in the passenger’s compartment on any aircraft. The Security Staff and Airline will check your firearms to make sure they are unloaded, and locked in a secure lockable case, which takes extra time. Therefore it’s always wise to arrive approximately 45 minutes earlier than your usual arrival time.